Search for:
Author

Frontiers

Browsing

It’s an all too familiar story: Despite resolutions to lose weight, get in shape, or simply stay fit, it’s all too easy to fall off the exercise band wagon. Studies estimate that up to 50% of gym members drop out within the first six months of a new exercise program. But why is it so hard to stay motivated? “Training plans are based on sport science, rather than psychological factors, and we thought that there…

Does your toddler use a touchscreen tablet? A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology has shown that early touchscreen use, and in particular actively scrolling the screen, correlates with increased fine motor control in toddlers. Smartphones and tablets are now commonplace at work and in the home. If you are reading this on your morning commute on public transport, it is likely to be on a touchscreen device, while surrounded by people who are…

Almost from the moment of birth, human beings are able to distinguish between speakers of their native language and speakers of all other languages. We have a hard-wired preference for our own language patterns, so much so that the cries of very young infants reflect the melodies of their native language. The connection between language and social preferences is well-established. New research, recently published in Frontiers in Psychology, demonstrates that infants also pay attention to…

Over the course of the Rio Olympics, 450,000 condoms were distributed around the athlete’s village. This may be surprising considering the common view that abstinence from sexual activity can boost athletic performance. These long-standing views have now been challenged by a recent analysis of current scientific evidence, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Physiology. “Abstaining from sexual activity before athletic competition is a controversial topic in the world of sport;” said Laura Stefani, an…

Does your toddler use a touchscreen tablet? A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology has shown that early touchscreen use, and in particular actively scrolling the screen, correlates with increased fine motor control in toddlers. Smartphones and tablets are now commonplace at work and in the home. If you are reading this on your morning commute on public transport, it is likely to be on a touchscreen device, while surrounded by people who are…

Children with emotionally invested parents are more likely to be successful, a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience shows. Looking at 27 children aged between four and six, the study examined the quality of the emotional bond to their parents, and their cognitive control including: resisting temptation, their ability to remember things, and whether they are shy or withdrawn. Maximizing children’s chances of success can seem daunting and an impossibly tall order. Future indicators…

Imagine two candidates at a high stakes job interview. One of them handles the pressure with ease and sails through the interview. The other candidate, however, feels very nervous and under-performs. Why do some people perform better than others under emotionally stressful conditions? The clue might lie in early childhood experiences, a recent study published in the open access online journal, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found. Emotional bonds with our primary caregiver or parent in…

Social media can disseminate critical information as well as unite disaster victims during their recovery efforts, suggests a study published in Frontiers in Communication. After natural disasters communities rely heavily on local governments to provide the necessary resources and information to respond to such disasters, but these approaches are not well equipped to meeting individual needs. As a complement to traditional methods, social media can provide a more personalized resource as well as fostering a…

The most complex piece of matter in the known universe is the brain. Neuroscientists have recently taken on the challenge to understand brain function from its intricate anatomy and structure. There is no sure way to go about it, and Dr. Javier DeFelipe at the Cajal Institute in Madrid proposed a solution, in his Frontiers in Neuroanatomy Grand Challenge article “The anatomical problem posed by brain complexity and size: a potential solution.” Today, one year…

“Who broke Grandma’s favorite vase?” As you listen to a chorus of “I don’t know” and “Not me,” how will you determine the culprit? Conventional wisdom says, divide and conquer, but what does scientific research show us about questioning a group of people at one time? Unfortunately, very little. Dr. Zarah Vernham from the University of Portsmouth in the UK and her colleagues looked at 20 studies which examined deception in groups. Their review of…

How many words do we know? It turns out that even language experts and researchers have a tough time estimating this. Armed with a new list of words and using the power of social media, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology, has found that by the age of twenty, a native English speaking American knows 42 thousand dictionary words. “Our research got a huge push when a television station in the Netherlands asked us…

New research shows that burnout is caused by a mismatch between a person’s unconscious needs and the opportunities and demands at the workplace. These results have implications for the prevention of job burnout. Imagine an accountant who is outgoing and seeks closeness in her social relationships, but whose job offers little scope for contact with colleagues or clients. Now imagine a manager, required to take responsibility for a team, but who does not enjoy taking…

Eating a Mediterranean diet can slow down cognitive decline. The Mediterranean diet can improve your mind, as well your heart, shows a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Nutrition. By sticking to the Mediterranean diet the study showed that people had slowed rates of cognitive decline, reduced conversion to Alzheimer’s, and improved cognitive function. The main foods in the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) include plant foods, such as leafy greens, fresh fruit and vegetables,…

Hay fever may do more than give you a stuffy nose and itchy eyes, seasonal allergies may change the brain, says a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. Scientists found that brains of mice exposed to allergen actually produced more neurons than controls, they did this using a model of grass pollen allergy. The research team examined the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for forming new memories, and the…

People commit fraud because they are unhappy about being rejected, a new study in Frontiers in Psychology has found. Many of us might not professional criminals, however when an insurance company rejects our claims, we are more likely to inflate the claims. Insurance companies take note: we are more likely to submit false insurance claims if our original submissions are rejected. Regardless of whether that rejection is fair or unfair, or if there is a…